I also had an idea late last night that the boys should have female names to gain favor from their mothers and their father's last names to further mark their low status in society. So, I am changing Allan's name to Guadalupe Rodriguez and have Allan be the name Ashley calls him. I am still playing with that idea.
So, I will keep thinking about this whole plot and hope to iron out more of the chapters this weekend and just sit with the characters.
Below is another excerpt of the draft, which is quite rushed. It's page #3.
“Two liters, not worth the risk,” says the woman, “You should go out on Sundays and with your escort.”
I snort, “Mom sold it. Besides, she doesn’t have the money to have me engineered, again. Not that they’ll take me,” I pause and look over my should, “I still can’t eat government protein. I tried again this morning. Doc B says it’s the enzyme, but she hasn’t reported me. She can’t run the test to figure out what is wrong with me. It costs too much money, and mom is already so in-debt from the mods I have.” I stare at her, “Mrs. J, are you sure the meat doesn’t come from the harvested? Is it human meat?” I always ask her the same questions ,and she always answers the same.
“No way, that’s just a rumor to keep people more afraid. People are harvested for organs and whatever the government needs. Most people are intact and become servants.”
I give her a skeptical look, “Right, Mrs. J. Intact.”
“The Doc’s a good woman,” she says switching the subject, “She was one of my students once, before all this—” she says, “You’re so tall.”
“What?” I ask.
“You’re so tall and smart. I’m worried someone will want to patron you,” she looks out the small kitchen window, “Then, I won’t see you anymore.”
I give her a knowing look, “No one will take me. You know that. It’s too expensive to feed someone who can’t eat government meat.”
The sirens end and the announcer reports, “There will be no more gatherings for thirty six hours. Be productive. Be accountable. Be safe.”
“Liars. Liars. Liars,” I say in the same robotic voice, “This is the third harvest in two weeks. Do you think we are gong to war again?”
Mrs. Jenkins gives me a squeeze, “We’re always at war. Now, go take this to your mother and come back.” She hands me a small pouch, “Plant this in the rooftop like I taught you. Be sure no one sees.”
“Ah Mrs. J, everyone has a rooftop garden hidden under solar tarps—“
“Yeah, but not for girls. Now hurry along!”
I know she is right. The gardens are to grow food for boys, the lucky boys who have brave parents. My mother jokes that the extra food is to fatten them for the harvest, but she is bitter having lost two sons by the age of sixteen. I never got to meet them, so they don’t mean much to me, but she still mourns them, even though truly, she doesn’t know what became of them.